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Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse [PS3] Review

Posted on November 25, 2012 AT 06:06pm

Has anyone ever said that they want to play a third-person shooter set in the Family Guy multiverse? I doubt it, but someone, somewhere decided that it would be a good idea. I’m here to inform you that it was not a good idea. Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse was actually a very bad idea. Fortunately, there was so little content in the game that I completed the story mode and tried all the multiplayer and challenge modes in one afternoon. Then, once I finish this review, I will be free to ignore it forever. I advise you to ignore it as well.

OK, maybe I’m being a little harsh. There were some lines in the game that made me chuckle. It was neat to hear the voice actors from the show doing the voices in the video game (OK, pretty much just Seth MacFarlane, but still). The variety of weapons and special items available for each character was nice. But aside from that, there isn’t much else I can point out as being well designed.

Let’s start with the shooting, since that’s what you’ll be doing for the entire game. If you just run and shoot, it’s very difficult to hit anything at all. But if you try to zoom in, your target reticule will automatically snap to an enemy. This is all well and good until the enemy starts moving. When zoomed in, the camera moves too slowly to really follow anything, so you end up zooming back out and then zooming in again. Overall, what I’m trying to say is that the third-person shooting mechanics are pretty bad. Sometimes it was just easier to stick to weapons like the flame thrower that don’t require much aiming at all.

Aside from all the various weapons you can choose from, there are also special items that you can deploy as well. Most of them are amusing but useless. It wouldn’t be a Family Guy game without the Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubeman, and it’s supposed to serve as a decoy to draw fire away from you. It hardly ever does that. There’s also a turret you can deploy that fires off a few shots every once in a while. I never saw it hurt or kill an enemy. The only item I found useful was the Giant Chicken, who would run around and beat up all the enemies until he was killed. Plus, whenever the Chicken is loose, you can hear the Surfin’ Bird song, which is nice.

The story mode is short, and it doesn’t have the same style of writing that we’ve come to expect from Family Guy. There are a few good jokes, but for the most part, I found myself wanting to get the story mode over with. The premise is that Bertram is traveling the Multiverse to gather an army to destroy the universe Stewie and Brian live in, so they follow him to various universes to stop him. This is how the game gets away with bringing as many gags from the show into the game, because otherwise, there would be no continuity going from angry Amish villagers to evil space chickens.

Since the story mode revolves around Brian and Stewie, it makes sense for there to be split screen co-op. This still doesn’t change the fact that the story isn’t very interesting, but at least you can make fun of the game with a friend. Once you’ve had a good laugh, you can also head over the multiplayer section to find the various spins that the game puts on typical multiplayer modes. Capture the flag is now Capture the Greased-Up Deaf Guy. Multiverse Madness is the horde mode that never ends and becomes boring rather quickly. Infiltration is just you doing random shit to score points. Seriously, random shit like finding treasure chests or destroying robots. And of course Deathmatch is there. All of these modes suffer from the poor shooting mechanics of the game. The only redeeming quality of multiplayer is that you can choose from a larger number of characters than in story mode. Unfortunately, it only supports local play, so you won’t be playing against your friends online. In fact, nothing about this game is online. Any sort of multiplayer is limited to local split-screen.

There is also a challenge mode included, which involves completing tasks like taking pictures of girls dancing in windows. You can earn stars by completing the various levels of the challenges, which then unlock more challenges. Again, it’s difficult to earn all the available stars because of how difficult it is to kill enemies. It was a nice try, but not worth your time.

Summary: What could have been a hilarious trip through the Multiverse with Brian and Stewie turned into a boring, mediocre third-person shooter that fails at being a decent shooter. Even diehard Family Guy fans probably won’t enjoy this since the writing isn’t even close to being on the same level as the TV show. Plus, there’s not even online multiplayer, which seems like a strange thing to leave out from a game released in 2012.

  • THE GOOD: The weapon variety is good. You can get anything from flame throwers to rail guns.
  • THE BAD: The controls are so poor that they make it difficult to do just about anything. It doesn’t feel like a third-person shooter at all.
  • THE UGLY: No online? That’s preposterous.

SCORE: 4.0/10

Mike Fugate is the type of guy that you can count on to blab all your secrets to the world. He also kind of has a thing for video games, exercise, and Buckyballs. If for some reason you want to listen to him talk, go listen to his PC Gaming podcast AFC - Away From Computer here on DigitalNoob.

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